India’s 500th test special event
‘INDIA 500 TESTS… The journey began in 1932’, a book commemorating India’s achievement of playing 500 Test matches was released by Lt Anurag Singh Thakur, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata, on Sunday, October 2, 2016.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Thakur said, “Sportstar and The Hindu Group of Publications have come out with a book which tracks India’s journey from Test 1 to Test 500. It is a treasure trove of facts, with a breath-taking pictorial back-up. The BCCI is indeed glad to be associated with the release of this book as it has come from The Hindu stable. So, in a way, the BCCI has found in The Hindu Group a kindred soul.”
In his welcome speech, N Ram, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, (publishers of The Hindu and Sportstar), said, “We thought a commemorative edition tracking the long march of Indian cricket, and placing the present state of Indian cricket in historical context, would be a fitting tribute to the players who have figured in the battles over eight decades and more. Present-day fans, too, could get a glimpse of how the edifice has been built, ground up.”
Ayon Sengupta, Editor, Sportstar, said, “It’s a momentous occasion and we are proud to do our bit in celebrating this wonderful journey of 84 years. The book is packed with information, anecdotal writing from legendary cricketers, and rare pictures from our archives. I would like to extend our thanks to the BCCI and its president, Lt Anurag Singh Thakur, for the unstinted support in this endeavour.”
A panel discussion, moderated by renowned writer Suresh Menon, on the ‘Health of Test cricket and its future’, featured cricket legends, Anil Kumble (Indian coach), Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman. Lt Thakur too participated. This was followed by an interactive session with the audience.
And, finally, a Dream Indian team, a world-beating outfit in any country, was unveiled.
Some members of the Indian team, spin legend Bishan Bedi, and other dignitaries, including Asok Kumar Ganguly, former Justice of the Supreme Court, and Neeraj Kumar, former Police Commissioner of Delhi graced the occasion.
The book begins with an overview of India’s Test history by sports writer Suresh Menon and then dissects each decade from 1932 (when the country played its first Test against England at Lord’s) from the viewpoint of the players themselves. Beginning with Vasanth Raiji and then Madhav Apte, the book features a glittering array of players turned scribes such as Bishan Bedi, Gundappa Viswanath, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag. Rare period and contemporary pictures add to the allure making it a collector’s item indeed.